Resolve to ‘stop school violence’
Resolution sums up what Dr. Joyce (also known as Sister Joyce) is about. She began in 2004 with “Stopping the Violence” and “Taking it to the Streets.”
Sister Joyce sent a message out to the principals and teachers that conflict resolution was the way to end petty arguments leading to violent reactions. During Anti-Bullying month she spoke at the Jerry L. White Center for special needs students. Sister Joyce was invited to the University of Michigan-Flint to share her message with the class of future leaders/secondary teachers; Prevention with preventive measures of classroom management keeping petty violence zero to none. Resolution starts in the classroom. In 2013 Dr. Joyce plans to go into the schools and conduct peace rallies.
All of the programs allow the students to express their feelings and ideas; their voice.
Sister Joyce uses workbook activities, role playing, music, and song and dance and life examples to allow the children to express their feelings of violence and its effects on society. The students write the articles for the Stop the Violence newsletter, giving them pride of accomplishment, while improving their English and writing skills and instilling a sense of ownership.
Noble School in Detroit welcomed her as a conflict resolution consultant and she opened the Peace Center where the program ran for three years. The Peace Center became the focal point in the school where children felt comfortable enough to express themselves openly and honestly without fear of retaliation. The teachers visited the Peace Center for respite from hectic days. The center taught the young people that “Violent behavior should never be considered love,” as stated in a winning essay written by an eighth grader.
Sister Joyce was chosen as choir director for The Noble Knights Inspirational Choir, which allowed the students to gain confidence and a sense of belonging.
Sister Joyce inspired the students of Life Skills Center High School (formerly on E. Jefferson in Detroit) who embraced the Stop the Violence campaign. The Students initiated the movement and created the group Helping Young People Excel (H.Y.P.E.). They held a Peace March demonstration in Downtown Detroit. Another school with opposing viewpoints tried to cause conflict, but the students displayed peace and put conflict resolution into action.
Subscribe to the “Stop the Violence” Newsletter, Shepherdjones Publications P.O. Box 4253 Southfield, MI 48037. E-mail Shepherdjones@yahoo.com or visit www.StopDetroitViolence.org for more information.
Valrie Cobb is a freelance writer living in Detroit. Visit her Web site, www.utmostwriting.com